Salvadorans under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) continue to have problems because they are being incorrectly told that their employment authorization cards (EADs) are not valid, when they are. I previously reported on how they were being wrongly denied unemployment benefits and driving licenses to immigrants with TPS.
On this occasion, Mr. Santos Delacruz Hernandez, 62 years old, came to me for help because the company where he worked fired him, precisely because his work permit was expired. Despite the fact that Mr. Hernandez took him to representatives from McCann's Engineering & Manufacturing Company all documentation proving the validity of the work permit, automatically extended Until March 9, 2011, and a notification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that his TPS extension was approved, the company refused to reinstate him.
What happened to Mr. Hernandez at his job is a type of employment discrimination related to his immigration status, and it is illegalaccording to the Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Employment Practices Relating to Immigrant Status of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
I am currently working pro bono with the Department of Justice to reinstate Mr. Hernandez to his job and have him paid his back pay from October 6, the date he was terminated.
The problem was further compounded for Mr. Hernandez because after being laid off, he applied for unemployment benefits from the California Employment Development Department (EDD), but these were also wrongly denied for the same reason.
He is not the only person with TPS who has been laid off or denied employment because of problems with employment authorization cards. That's why it is important to let these people know that they have rights and how to exercise them.
Yesterday I did a conference of press to again expose the seriousness of the problem facing the TPS community.
Journalist Pilar Marrero details the problem very well in an article published in today's newspaper La Opinión.
You can also view several of the reports made by television channels about Mr. Hernandez's case by clicking on the following links: